Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 23, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

8:00 am
04/23/19 04/23/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracacy now. >> t the only problemm is if wee shoot on thehe hill, it wiwill n internatioional crisis. we're too close to the border. save somtime, thgh, would net? amy: the fbi arrests the head of a right-wing vigilante group in new mexico days after the group filmed itself holding up to 300 migrants at gunpoint near the
8:01 am
u.s.-mexico border. we will speak to the head of the aclu of new mexico. then we look at a pair of campus immigration protests. >> shame on you! amy: in baltimore, students at johns hopkins have entered their 20th day of a sit-in occupation protesting the university's plans for an armed police force on campus, as well as the school's contracts with ice. plus, we go to the university of arizona in tucson where charges have been dropped against three students for confronting border patrol agents on campus. and we will speak to d. watkins, author of "we speak for ourselves: a word from forgotten black america." liberal word, i would say, you're right. right now we're seeing something we never thought we would see in our lifetime. as a black person, i have always
8:02 am
felt like that. when i see police officers i is this copink, yo, horrible person or somebody just going to pass by? i've had to consciously live with that, like, forever. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. sri lanka's defense minister says sunday scored ended bombings at churches and hotels across the island natition werea response to last month's attacks on mosques by a white nationalist gunman, who killed 50 muslim worshippers in the new zealand city of christchurch. sri lankan officials say a little-known muslim organization called the national thawheed jama'ut carried out the easter sunday bombings with another sri lankan group known as the jmi. separately, the islamic state group claimed responsibility for the bombings, though it offered no evidence. ththe death toll from the bombis rose today to 32321, with h more than 500 injured, asas sri lanka marks a nanational day of mourning.
8:03 am
the trump administration said monday it will fully enforce unilaterally-imposed sanctions against iran, ending a waver program that allowed some nations to continue buying iranian oil without suffering penalties from the u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo announced the tightening of sanctions monday, saying the move w will benefit saudi arabia and other u.s. allies in the gulf. >> the united states has been in constant discussion with allies and partners to help them transition a way from iranian crude to other alternatives. we have been working with oil producing countries to make sure the market has sufficient volume to penalize the middle minimalist. the have assured us inappropriate supply for the markets. amy: chinesese authoritieses immedidiately pushed back agaiat the move, saying it jeopardizes talks with the u.s. aimed at ending president trump's trade war. china is iran's single biggest customer of oil, consuming about
8:04 am
half of the onone million babars iran e exports d daily. an's economy has suffered heavily since the trump administration backed out of the 2015 iran nuclear deal, which gave tehran sanctions relief i n exchange for a promise notot to builild nucleaear weapons. back in the united states, the house judiciary committee has subpoenaed former white house counsel don mcgahn to testify to congress on may 21 as part of an investigation into whether president trump illegally sought to obstruct special counsel robert mueller's investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. mueller's report found mcgahn defied president trump's demand he fire mueller, threatening to resign rather than carry out the order. meanwhile, president trump and the trump organization have sued house oversight committee chair a leisure comings in a bid -- elijah cummings in a bid to quash a subpoena demanding 10 years' worth of trtrump's financial l records. cummings s subpoenaed trump'p's accountant to produce the documents after the president's former personal attorney, michael cohen, testified that trump routinely deflated his
8:05 am
assets to reduce his taxes, while inflating them in order to win bank loans. meanwhile, house democratic leaders warned rank-and-file lawmakers monday against pressing for president trump's impeachment. in a conference call monday evening, house speaker nancy pelosi and other senior democrats warned of the political consequences pressing for impeachment would have on the 2020 electction. pelosi saiaid the committee shod focus on bestst editions in the trump. over the weekend, massachusetts democratic senator elizabeth warren became the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for trump's impeachment. during town hall events hosted by cnn monday, candidates bernie sanders, amy klobuchar, and pete buttigigeg said they don't t sut an immediate drive to impeach trump, while california senator kamala said she supported the idea. >> i think we have very good reason to believe that there is an investigation that has been conducted which has produced thisnce that tells us
8:06 am
president and his a administratn engaged in obsbstruction of justice. i believe congrgress should take steps toward impeachment. amy: elizabeth warren unveiled a sweeping plan to cancel most student loan debt while making public colleges tuition-free. senator warren's plan would cost $1.25 trillion, to be funded by her proposed ultra-millionaire tax, an annual 2% tax hike on 75,000 u.s. households with $50 million or more in wealth. vermont independent senator bernie sanders made free public college a cornerstone of both his 2016 and 2020 campaigns, though senator warren says her idea goes further. the supreme court hears oral arguments today in a case challenging the trump administration's plans to include a question o on citizenship on the 2020 census. justices will rule on whether commerce secretary wilbur ross had the authority to add the question to the census. the american civil liberties union and 17 states have sued, saying ross's move was aimed at deterring immigrants from
8:07 am
participating in the census, leading to a vast undercount in states with large immigrant communities. this is journalist ari berman speaking with democracy now! last election day. thehe census is basically dna of our democracy. it determimine so many things tt we do from how billions of dollars of federal funding is distributed to how political districts are drawn, to how many electoral votes states get. if the census is rigged, than all of american democracy will be rigged as well. amy: the supreme court also said monday it will take up three cases that will determine whether lgbtq people will be covered by title 7 of the civil rights act, which bars employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. the trump administration will argue that the act was not intended to provide protection to gay or transgender workers. justices will hear arguments in the case in the fall, with a decision likely by june of 2020. in the meantime, lgbtq activists are calling on congress to pass the equality act, which would
8:08 am
amend civil rights laws to explicitly protect lgbtq people against discrimination. authorities at the university of arizona in tucson have dropped charges against three students who held a nonviolent protest against border patrol agents speaking on their campus. during the protest, the students march 19 called border agents "murder patrol" and an "extension of the kkk." later in the broadcast, we will go to tucson to speak with mariel bustamante, one of the so-called "arizona three." in washington, d.c., activists with the groups codepink and popular resistance are occupying the venezuelan embassy alongside a skeletal staff of venezuelan diplomatic workers, where they're demanding the trump administration cancel plans to turn the embassy over to venezuelan opposition leaders. they're also protesting u.s. sanctions on venezuela that have exacerbated a growing humanitarian crisis. the u.s. state department has ordered the group to vacate the building by in response, wednesday.
8:09 am
codepink's medea benjamin wrote -- "like it or not, the maduro government is actually the government in power in venezuela and is recognized by the united nations. this trump-orchestrated plan of creating a parallel government and then simply taking over diplomatic premises is totally illegal." president trump said monday that one of his picks to join the federal reserve board, herman cain, has withdrawn from consideration. trump's nomination of cain brought renewed scrutiny to the former godfather's pizza ceo and 2012 republican presidential candidate, who withdrew from that year's race after three women accused him of sexual harassment. meanwhile, another trump nominee to the federal reserve board, stephen moore, is under scrutiny after cnn uncovered sexist columns he wrote as a paid author at the national review in the 2000's. in one column, moore argued that women should be banned from the march madness college basketball tournament, writing -- "here's the rule change i propose: no more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything."
8:10 am
burma supreme court has rejected the final appeal of a pair of reuters reporters imprisoned for reporting on the systematic expulsion and murder of rohingya muslims from burma in 2017. just last week, reporters wa lone and kyaw soe oo were honored with a pulitzer prize for their expose of a massacre of rohingyas committed by the burmese military in the village of inn din. but on monday, the pair were ordered to serve seven years in prison for brereaking the colonial-era official secrets act. the united nations, the u.s. house of representatives, and international human rights and press freedom groups have all called for the journalists' release. in the philippines, at least nine people were killed after a strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck west of manila during the evening rush hour monday. the earthquake collapsed buildings, including a four-story supermarket where five people were crushed to death by a falling wall. on tuesday, a second, even more powerful quake struck the southern philippines, north of the city of tacloban. there were no immediate reports
8:11 am
of injuries from the 6.4-magnitude quake. in climate news, new study finds greenland's eye she is melting at six times the rate it was in the 1980's and the latest sign that coastal cities around the world will face a catastrophic rise in sea levels also monday's lostngs show greenland has 11 quadrillion pounds of water since 1972, with most of the melt coming in recent years. in london, the number of people arrested in a series of nonviolent direct actions urging radical action on climate change has topped 1000 as the extinction rebellion has enters its ninth day of protests in the british capital. on monday, hundreds of extinction rebellion protesters staged a massive die-in in the main hall of london's natural history museum. and polly higgins, a british barrister who spent years campaigning for courts and governments to recognize ecocide as a major international crime, died sunday of cancer.
8:12 am
she was 50 years old. polly higgins drafted model laws defining the crime of ecocide and authored two books on the subject. in this video, produced by desmog u.k. and real media, she proposed making ecocide a crime on parar with genocide, war cris and crimes against humanity. legally advising for e to become an international crime.e. it is the exextent of damamage o the loloss of ecocosystems, andd existing law d ds not go far enough in terms of stoppining serious harm, e ecological haha, andd climatic harm. we are talking about criminal law. you're looooking at ceos, directors, m ministers of state who can be held to account with an international criminal court. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and
8:13 am
peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in new mexico, where the fbi has arrested the head of an armed vigilante group that has repeatedly filmed itselflf taining migrant boer-crossers at gunpopoint. 69-year-old larry mitchell hopkins is the leader of the far-right, pro-trump group calling itself united constitutional patriots, which the american civil liberties union dedescbed as aarmed fascist militia organization his arrest came just days after the aclu accused the united -- the vigilantes of illegally detaining 300 migrants, including young children, near sunland park, new mexico, last week. videos posted on social media showed the vigilantes holding migrants at gunpointnt and . in one of ththe videos uploadedy the united cononstitutional patriotsts, a man is h hea considerining another means ofof dealing with the migrarants. >> t the only proboblem is if we
8:14 am
shoot on t the hill, it willll n inteternational crisis. we're too close to the border. it would save some time, though, wouldn't it be? amy: the videos also show militia members praising president trump's border policies and echoing trump's rhetoric about a so-called invasion of migrants. new mexico attorney general hector balderas praised the fbi for arresting larry mitctchell hopkins, the h head of the vigilantnte group. balderas said -- "this is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families. today's arrest by the fbi indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not vigilantes." according to documents unsealed in court m monday, hopkins was first brought to the a attention of federal authorities in 2017 when the fbi received reports that his groupup was training to assassinate barack obama, hillary clinton, and george soros. his arrest saturday on firearms charges comes 12 years after he was arrested in oregon for
8:15 am
unlawfully impersonating a police officer, and more than two decades after he was convicted for illegal possession of a loaded firearm in the state of michigan in 1996. joining us now is peter simonson, executive director of the aclu of new mexico. he is in albuquerque. welcome to democracy now! can you lay out who this man i , who the fbi have just detained and what his group was doing along the border? >> sure. you pretty much explained what we know about mr. hopkins to this point. the group has been operating for a while now, i think since we found out about them late last fall they have been convening part -- down in the summer area. we really did not expect to see been a sort of activity of the kind they have manifested over the last several weeks where there are actually detaining
8:16 am
people, dozens of families, at gunpoint. threatening them. these are families that consist of young mothers, younger children, infants. if you watch the videos, they are just chilling. they are heartrending to see innocent people expososed to ths kindnd of a memenace. juanan: peter r simonson, theres quite a long history of vigilante groups along the border. i think back to the 1990's when the result white of the border ofement by people -- light the border movement by people who were concerned there was a crisis of migrants coming across the border and isolated instances but now we're talking a moreit seems to be currently organized group. don't they actually have a small area their camping out in near the border? >> yes, that is true. the surge we saw in the early
8:17 am
2000's in the name of the minutemen really was kind of a temporary movement, it seemed. the kindr demonstrated of behaviors that we are seeing right now. this group seems to have a .ermanent encampment this coming friday, the el paso times reported that union pacific railroad and the police have required them to move off the premises and they're putting up, as i understand it, from the story, no trespassing signs in that area. so it is not entirely clear what the fututure fate of the vigilae group will actually y be. but your point is exacactly rig. this appearsrs to be a more determined groupup.. certainly,y, a group that fefees more empowowered to take thehe w into their ownwn hands and doe't seem to understand any of the consequences of their actions. amy: i would like to turn to jim benvie, a spokesman for the
8:18 am
united constitutional l patriot. >> people e ask me also, what is the role of and gauge meant here? the ruling jududgment is we are here like anyoyone else in the only time that we're going to open fire is if we feel imminent threat or danger to our lives. we are a group of basically volunteer americans who have come down here, retired vets and law enforcement, special forces. we have come down here not as a militia, butut as a group p of amamericans s to help protect te border c crisis goining on here. this is a a national securityy issue. obviouously, border patrol is pt of this as well.l. we are trying to a assist ththe. as farcece the oveverload, thehe areas right now the border cannot cover. amy: in one of the videos narrated by y benvie, vigilantes armed with assault rifles are seen approaching a group of several dozen people seated on
8:19 am
the ground. >> h hey, guys, this iss jim wih the united cononstitutnal patrtrio. we built the wall. as you can see, we d actually dd up getting everybobody wndnd up. was a combinationon of us and some g good rsrses or there. basically, a team effort here. you caner simonson, if describe the scene -- some of these people, were they actually handcuffed? talk about the distinction you make between a militia and vigilante. >> sure. i have not seen a particular segment of the video, so i am not privy to the particular details. they is 12 hours of video posted on their facebook site and it has been hard to come through. we have been appreciative of the
8:20 am
media like democracy now! who is done some of that work for us. we think these folks should be labeled vigilantes because they are taking the law into their ownnands. theyey meet every y definion of vigigilante. they belelve they undederstand whathe tererms of j justice shod bebe better an what ththe law actually outlines for us. and arare wiing to actctually go to the lengths of using heavy weaponryry to enforce the lawaws they seeee it should b be done. ii think t they only adopt ththe militia for the puose of trying to associate themselves with somome sort of constitutiol narrative they think justifies their actions,s, when in facact, they are a a lawless band of individuals who are misguided in their intentions. juan: do you have any sense of what the border patrol relationship is to these groups? the border patrol, are they discouraged -- discouraged citizens from taking action or
8:21 am
do they welcome support from locals? >> great question. i think this is one of the outstanding questions we have right now. there is plenty of video evidence -- i think k you just shshowed some -- thahat suggeste border patrol is actively collaboratingg with these folkl, despitite t the fact theyey mada public statement saying they neither condone oror endorse thr activity. we have plenty o of video documentation showing border patrol showiwing up to take thte folks they have i illegally detained into custody.. o of the pictures constitutuonal patriotot folks pong and photos with border patrol on horsebeback. there seems to have been a fairly easy and cooperative relationship between the vigilante group and the border patrol. you know, the question i am left with is, why did no one tell these fololks to cease and d de?
8:22 am
if the bordeder patrol is a fact or law enforcement agency, evenn if they themsmselves were not going to initiate an ininvestigation into these folk, why couldn't t they have called on fbi to o look into the matter? we met witith the u.s. attororny here in new memexico late yesterdaday afternoon and asked him what has been done to tell these folks to stop what they are doing. share so much, but it is my understanding -- i have been given no evidence to say any federal authority as to lose folks they need to stop what they're doing. our key concern is family safety -- there are families welfare at stake here. you look at those videos and what you see is literally dozens of families huddled in the sand and remote part of the desert in the dead of night, surrounded by men in military camouflage, masked many times, with heavy
8:23 am
weaponry. you can only imaginine a situaun where someone e reaches for someththing in their pocockets, pulllls out a cell phone, and it looks like a firearm. and you have a gunfight that ensues. tragedies are the ones we have been really trying to move to avoid. vigilantessthe acknowowledged somome members oe militia wore badges similar to the border patrol agents. he said of immigrants can tell the problem, that is their problem -- can't tell the difference, that is their problem. you have the guy that the fbi just arrested 12 years ago, being arrested in oregon for unlawfully impersonating a police officer. isn't it illegal to do that? and why is it just the head of this vigilante group that has been taken in? if trump is supporting them, what will happen next?
8:24 am
>> you are asking all of the questions that are foremost in our mind right now. from all appearances, these folks were impersonating federal offificers, evenen approaching immigranant families and announcing themselelves as u.s. border patrol. in other caseses, announcing .hemselv as pololice i i don't ununderstand how uer y definition you seeee in federal andtheyey can't be charged -- by thehey, not just mr. hopkins, but t the rest of theolks thatt are gathered on ththe border -- with falsely impersosonating a federal officecer. anand that is just t theeginning of possible fefederal chargrges againsthese folklks. we a are alslooking at p possie kidnappiping, conspiracy y to kidnap ththe f fact that they are armed holding people atat gunpoint ony adds t to the riousness of thee deral crimes.
8:25 am
really, we are hoping to see that our federal authorities are going to bring further charges against these people because the video evidence -- and there isia wealth of it -- shows they appear to be guilty of multiple crimes. mr. hopkins is just the tip of the iceberg. amy: we only know about this because they themselves posted the video online. how much is this happening along the border? let's not forget new mexico is where the two children and border patrol custody died, the migrant children. >> exactly. beyond that, obviously, these folks lack some degree of confidence they were so bold as to actually rod cast, advertise videotape their illegal activity. but you have to think at some point, some caution must have clicked in and wear more extrere actions happen, maybe they did not videotape. i don't think we know the full story of how these people were treating the families they were
8:26 am
illegally taking into custody. and who is to say whether someone might be out in the desert still having been the victim of a gunshot or someone that was roughed up and escaped to another part of the border? we have no idea what these people are doing to the families that are coming across. unless this activity is stopped, again, it could end very tragically. amy: we do know people like no more deaths who put bottles of water in the desert so that thirst aret die of being arrested. peter simonson, thank you for being with us executive director , of the aclu of new mexico. when we come back, we will cover .wo campus protests stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:27 am
amy: activists singing a song by colleen kattaun on the nogales border. you can go to tuesday the images of 16-year-old mexican boy, jose antonio, who was shot and killed in that spot by the border wall by a border patrol agent. this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. authorities of the university of arizona in tucson
8:28 am
have dropped charges agagast three students who held a nonviolent p protest against border patrol agents speaking on ththeir campus. during thehe march 19 protest, e students called border agent murder patrorol and "an extensin of thehe kkk." one of the students fifilmed pat of their encounter from outside the c classroom whehere the ages were speaking. >> this is supposed to be a safe space for students, but what the murder patrol here. how about you talk about slashing water? talk about taking the shoes off migrants, setting them to walk through the desert barefoot? how about you talk aboutut all f the graves of unidentied souls? amy: all three students were charged with misdemeanors. on friday, motions to dismiss were granted after the aclu and others lead a campaign on behalf of the students. we go now to tucson, arizona, where we're joined by mariel
8:29 am
bustamante. welcome to democracy now! explain why you are there. >> it started when the criminal justice club invited the border patrol on campus to speak to the club about a number of things like recruitment and such. protesters, wew saw them on campus and we decided to speak out because we were unhappy with their presence there. that is why we were there, because we saw them armed, in uniform, and we thought that their presence was unnecessary. juan: and nothing happened to you at the time, but you are later visited by -- at your mother's house by agents looking for you? can you talk about that? demonstrationur
8:30 am
and a lasted about 45 minutes. no namames were taken. no ids. we kind of went about our lives for a while. came 10 ds l ler, policece to my mom's house -- where i don't live -- and to another one of the student's homes with a citation for our disruptioion of an educational institution. we had signed the charges later. they said if i did not show up to my mom's house that i would be subjected to arrest. amy: can you talk about the university's response? so that was pretty interesting. the president released a series of emails, the first one supporting student free speech on campus.
8:31 am
he didn't really pick k a side. he said students are able -- should be able to speak outall sides are wcome. then a f few days laterer, after meeting with the vice president of thehe council, things change. the e universisity took a stance with border patrol supporting the criminal justice club, and that is when we knew that charges would be filed against us. and then there was another series of emails, as more community support was coming about on our side, on behalf of us, the university, you know, wanted to do a series of campus conversations, supported free speech again -- you know, there
8:32 am
was a lot of confusion, a lot of juggling of thoughts on the university. to this day, they haven't really ststanded with either set other than the border patrol. juan: what was the respononse of the faculty? >> the faculty -- it was overwhelming support, mostly. specifically from the faculty of color. .hey mobilized together at first, for the first two people who were charged, then the additional third, more people came together. there was a lot of support. they used their own individual community networks. depending on where they were in their faculty, use the power to talk to other staff and professors. and they mobilized to make sure that we were safe, that we had the resources we needed to try to finish school up, to help us
8:33 am
get legal assistance. they really mobilized. they did letterwriting campaigns. at thed sit-ins presesident. theyey had lots of conversations around the school and the community. they were very supportive. amy: so you will be graduating now without charges? >> yes. i got the call on sunday saying that charges were dropped. i will be able to hopefully graduate bymay 9. mariel bustamante, thank you for being with us university of , arizona student who was charged with a misdemeanor for protesting a border patrol appearance on campus. the charges have just been dropped. now to another student protest. juan: we turn now to a protest over immigration by students at johns hopkins university in
8:34 am
baltimore, which has entered the 20th day the students have been protesting the university's plans for an armed police force on campus as well as johns hopkins' contracts with immigrations and customs enforcement. >> shame on you! juan: they are demanding the cancellation of contracts with ice and a pledge to donate all monies received from ice to baltimore's immigration defense fund. they're also demanding voluntary recognition for all workers wishing to unionize and a student and faculty representative spot on the university's board of trustees. amy: democracy now! invited johns hopkins to join us on our show but the university declined our request. we are to baltimore, maryland, where we're joined by two guests. mariam banahi is a johns hopkins graduate student participating in the sit in.
8:35 am
she is a phd candidate in anthropology writing a dissertation on asylum-seekers in germany. and chris bilal, member of students against private police and also a member of the washington hill community association. he is participating in the johns hopkins sit-in. welcome to democracy now! mariam banahi, let's begin with you. >> we are very interested in how hopkins presents itself, concerns with health and safety at home but also its contract with ice. since 2008, hopkins has profited and made about $7 billion from its contract with ice. currently there is about $1.7 million in contracts that are ongoing. the administration puts these in terms that it is supportive of medical care and things like that rather than actually
8:36 am
ofporting the detaining asylum-seekers. however, we see that as a kind of obstruction of the violence being an actor because they support the actual structures that make -- that facilitate the workings of ice. tose contracts are set expire this year. we would like the university andd its contracts with ice donated proceeds to something like the immigrant defense fund. amy: which is what? >> it provides support for immigrants come asylum-seekers in court cases but also other immigrant justice efforts that can be decided upon later. juan: another issue, the university's attempt to begin to have an armed police force. could you talk about that as well? legislation just passed. legislation has
8:37 am
just passed granting g this university, which is a repeat offender in terms of crimes against baltimore city residents, has -- they now have a police power. 75% of the students at johns hopkins university said they did not want the police force. a bunch of community associations, primarily across baltimore city, also said they did not want this force. there was a letter written by 100 faculty members of the administration who also said they wanted to disarm, deescalate, defined this machine it was going to happen. and really calling for other solutions and investment and things like mediation, safe streets, and community policing because as a public health institution, johns hopkins university knows better and knows more policing does not equate with less crime. it more policing causes gentrification, causes more anxiety and public health concerns around communities,
8:38 am
causes the extraction of wealth from communities and normalizes state sanctioned violence and terror against black and brown bodies across america. yeah, a lot of the students are challenging and demonstrating against this investment in the mass incarceration system and the school to prison pipeline, and are demanding equity in terms of hopkins reinvesting that money after devasting into community driven alternatives that actually support the sustainability and wellness of people in baltimore city. , i would askbanahi about the sit in and how long it has lasted now, 20 days, what the administration's response has been. i first wantnt to play a clip tt earlieier this month, some of yr protesters confronted the university's president ron daniels. they peppered him with questions and he refused to answer their questions. let's go to a clipiprom that exchange.
8:39 am
>> i have no intention of scheduling anything with you until you clear out of the building. [inaudible] juan: that was the president being confronted by one of the students. what has been the response of the university to this long sit-in? >> we are asked a going into today -- today is day 21 of the sit-in. .e will continue to escalate the university response has been quite disappointing. it is basically a nonresponse. as you saw president daniels refuses to speak with us. since the beginning that have ing ind to offer us anyth
8:40 am
writing from our conversations. the only responses we have received from them are coordinated drop-offs of basically threats, written statements come anytime there is a supposed violation that they deem as a violation. i think they are creating a paper trail in order to pursue disciplinary actions against students as soon as it is over for them. it is quite alarming there are these methods being used to intimidate protesters and students as well as we have heard reports that the dean's ofoffice has been calling faculy members, especially faculty members whoho are in more precararious posositions, and threatening them to discourage them from supporting the sit-in, from anyone stepping in the space is also being pursued and surveilled in these ways, which is alarming and gives credibility to our concerns about what hopkins would do with its own private armed police force on campus and beyond in the community.
8:41 am
another thing to mention, the faculty supports the sit-in. there's a unanimous faculty assembly resolutions. there is the community that is supportive of the sit-in. the support is growing. we had a great number of supporters coming in this weekend. we had a whole slew of events this week and into the weekend that are already being advertised. a pastor of pleasant hope baptist church has expressed his support and came and visited us on sunday witith memberers of hs congregation and will do that again next sunday at 4:00 p.m. all are welcome. >> i wanted to add to that. i was one of the people who is asking the questions to president daniels. as a community member, i think the administrations posture of silence toward communities is really bad. i know folks who are involved in
8:42 am
similar movements in the past will understand, silence equals death the police force is billed as. something that will generate safety and the students of john hopkins university. at the more i speak to students, especially women on campus, there is a big trend of women saying they do not feel safe when sexual assault is investigated on campus, the safety looks like investigating fraud houses that have committed sexual crimes against folks on campus. i've also learned one out of three undergrads also face sexual assault. there's this weird case of hopkins were aging cases of sexual assault were kind of deleted and kind of like this weird computer glitch. so when people talk about safety, that is a lie because hopkins has been unanable to protect its own students and make its own students feel safe. there is no way they're going to make peoplple like me save
8:43 am
without profiling people like me. basically, hopkins has a long history of experimenting on black and brown people in baltimore. it has a huge history of not paying taxes in baltimore. jon hopkins as a person was a liquor distributor who poison people and also his family, like, owned tobacco farms. that along history of poisoning the people of baltimore and also, like, not listing to people of baltimore. this is a situation where theents are demanding -- faculty senate proposed a neutral, non-hopkins affiliated mediator in which folks good talk to administration officials whoho have sat in spaces and have heard the students talk about their concerns about safety, talk about their concerns about the accountability board, talked about their concerns around the bounundaries, talked about how they want president ron daniels
8:44 am
to resign. if ron daniels does know what to resign, i believe that he should mediate was students or negotiate with students were -- there was a part of the video were he said, are you going to come to dinner? i think we would like to come to dinner. we would like to see ron daniels come to the sit-in and have dinner with students and community members and the coalition of interfaith folks you're interested in this to come or we could have dinner at present daniels house because the last time that he invited the bsu, black student union, to his house around concerns around this, he kicked them out and said they were ungrateful. we are also demanding he speak with the bsu, speak with people from the black and brown community who have not been consulted, and he also continued those meetings they were having, these public meetings around the police force. they cancel those meetings and refuse to talk to people. juan: i want to interrupt you because we only have a few minutes but one of the demands justice forn is
8:45 am
tyrone west. i want to turn to his sister speaking to wmar-2 news. >> these are not isolated situations. it is happening all over the world. accountability looks like those officers involved in my brothers brutal execution held accountable. juan: for those who don't know, who was tyrone west? tawandas the brother of by police murdered officers from morgan state university, another university in baltimore city -- which has a police force that hopkins is modeling their police force off of. sister west has been out here -- next week will be her 300th week outside demanding justice for tyrone west. the state did not release a lot
8:46 am
of information on the cacase. there are a lot of discrepancies and the coroner's report. there are two different autopsies. one of basically says he was murdered in the case of state sanctioned terror against him and the e state's narrrrative wh says he killed himself, which happens all too often. out therest has been every wednesday for 299 weeks demanding justice and accountability for her brother. this is really sad because we were just watching the news from yale our police officer from yale shot stephanie. we're asking for justice for tyrone and stephanie and paul and we agree with their demands and johnsthe ypd hopkins university. >> this goes back to the case recently and barnard with a columbia student going onto the campus which is below business as usual.
8:47 am
i was extremely disturbed seeing this as i am an alumni. he was costed and pinned once he entered the library. this has been repetitive. the president of barnard has had a much a guess better response to what has happened to president daniels has at hopkins. she is been calling for change. she recognizes the racial atmosphere the racial profiling that takes place on campuses. i think ron daniels these to take a look at this. amy: mariam banahi, thanks for being with us johns hopkins , student and chris bilal member of students against private police and also a member of the washington hill community association. both participating in the sit in now at its 21st day at jon hopkinins. just johns hopkins. only come back, we continue with what is happening around the country. we will speak with d. watkins,
8:48 am
author of "we speak for ourselves: a word from forgotten black america." ♪ [music break] amy: generatitionals, "put a light on." this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to another voice from baltimore, d. watkins
8:49 am
, author of the book "we speak for ourselves: a word from forgotten black america." he amplifies the expense of poor black americans he says are -- amplifies the experiences of poor black americans he says are typically sidelined by the public and the media, including his own life story. he writes -- "i'm from the bottom, and what i mean by bottom is first-generation scholars, the project babies, the people without wi-fi, the workers, the people most likely to get hit by police bullets. we are the subjects of protests, the rarely heard-from even as our deaths are debated by media personalities who wouldn't step foot on our blocks. to quote the brilliant scholar and activist dr. su'ad abdul khabeer, 'you don't need to be a voice for the voiceless. just pass the mic'." amy: d. watkins joins us in our new york studio. he is a professor at the university of baltimore and founder of the bmore writers project. also the author of "the cook up: a crack rock memoir" and "the beast side: living and dying while black in america." welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us.
8:50 am
>> thank you for having me. " congratulations on the book all stop talk about your own life story. >> i grew up -- it is crazy outuse, again, i don't step and try to be the voice for everyone. i cannot speak for myself but a lot of people from my community, ,e don't have big connections huge groups of activists. this is like a brand-new culture for us. we don't have the media personalities who get the ability to debate and talk about our stories a lot. when these things happen, these viral killings and murders that we see names tossed around the -- theya lot of people don't get to -- brand-new hashtags. this has been the basis of not just my story but a whole lot of people. i try my best to use my platform to elevate other people so we can build a bigger narrative for
8:51 am
the contemporary black experience is. juan: you are listening to the previous segment we had on the student protests at johns hopkins. johnhns hopkins is an elite schl in the middle of a majority black city. >> i went to school there. it is not fun. --n you are a black person my experience there, i, felt like an alien. when i heard the message about ron daniels kicking bsu out of his house, it was not a strange thing g for me. 65% black city. you can probably count the tenured professors on one hand. giving them a police force could potentially lead to the murder of an innocent p person. set, it is -- it sounds so and horrible for me to say it, but it is a reality. something that could definitely happen. amy: you have a chapter in your of woke. sick
8:52 am
what do you mean? >> it started from a great place. place when you're calling up people and challenging systems and trying to make it better for everybody. but when it gets to the point where, you know, you're using terminology like micro-aggression and intersectionality and all of these different things to demonize people who don't even know what you're talking about, it creates these hierarchies within different classes of people. it gets ridiculous. it is becoming, you know, fake thugs. like you have to have this of words andthis sea linkage that everyone has to adhere to when it becomes even more divisive. you, youant to ask have a chapter in your book on the tradition of failure.
8:53 am
you say near the beginning, the lack of progress made a public schools over the last 50 years is embarrassing and anyone who has the power to fix this but chooses not to truly wants "black kids to fail." you go on, the history of education in relationship to african-american in the system a failure. >> name one subject you hated in school when you were growing up. juan: i would say math. >> so imagine doing it in the freezing cold, nor i'm saying? cold innot the freezing 1960 five. this is 2017, 2018, 2019 where there are videos of students in baltimore city public schools trying to take notes for them to stop to blow on their hands because the inside of the school is freezing. didgovernor, larry hogan, not say anything about it until the video santa going viral. you know these issues exist. everybody knows.
8:54 am
we have been talking about it for a long time. my older brother and cousins and friends and all of the people who went to school, we talked about the resources they did not have and how messed up it was. my dad, the people he came up with talk about how bad the schools were. i had the same thing. my nephews and their little friends are saying the same thing. at what point do we fix this? it is 2019. amy: lemay go to president obama talking about race and policing at a 2016 town halall that was hosted by abc news. pres. obama: their israel concern about making sure interactions between police and community don't result in death. and nobody wishes that more than police officers themselves. because when youou talk to those police officers, whether jujustified or not, whatever the findings come have ended up killing somebody, it shatters them, , too. in the know anybody
8:55 am
african-american community or latinono community or otherss tt may have concerns about policing that don't also recognize we need policice. amy: so that was baracack obama when he was president at a town hall. you were there, d. watkins. can you respond to what he said and what president obama met you and then president trump? was like a special day for me because obama was like my i am into-- like, and libera politics. that came from following his election. the minute i get an email i get to sit in a room with this guy that is meant so much to me was like amazing. when i'm sitting there and wering him talk about how can't really prosecute police officers because we need them to protect is unlike, man, they're blowing our heads off. it was a difficult thing. part of me was like, ok, he is
8:56 am
to say what yes to say because this is around the time trump was catching steam and the maga rallies were popping up. erica garner was there. she was promised a chance to tell her story and talk about her experience and talk about the man who killed her father actually got a raise from overtime with this new desktop after that happened. amy: eric garner. being aarted off as great experience, but ended up being a rough day because the conversation was like the president and the people and the people, erica was definitely the people, like to wander, she was out there all the time trying to get justice for her dad. she had his opportutunity which really wasn't an opportunity. juan: she never got to speak, did she? >> she got to speak but she did not dispute, like only people knew were the people nor their
8:57 am
and that is because she exploded and stormed off the set. when she left, they were like, where you going? she was like, don't touch me. this is horrible. someone from obama's team reached out and said, you're good to talk to him for like two seconds. she told me and some other people -- we were walking back to the train station and she said, they basically said, he can't really speak on what is happening because of the dallas police situation is helping trump out. she's like, i don't cap about that. why does everything have to be about politics?? i care about this person and killed my father going to jail and it looks like it is not going to happen. amy: your assessment of trump? what he is meant for the african-american community? >> absolutely nothing. trump is absolute scum. he is everything we feel we have an encounter with a racist police officer come everything we feel when we know we are qualified for a job or loan and we don't get it, everything that
8:58 am
tears us apart as we try to navigate in this country. i'm not the guy who's try to say everyone feels like this, but i can say everything i felt and the struggles i've had in academia and media and in general, you know, is overrepresented in him. it is wrapped up in his bloated orange face. all of that anger and that aggression is right there, you know? he is a clear example of it. he can laugh and joke and it is disheartening to sit back and watch how many people are content with that. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, d. watkins, whose new book is "we speak for ourselves: a word from forgotten black america." watkins is a professor at the university of baltimore and founder of the bmore writers project. that does it for our broadcast. i will be speaking saturday night at 6:00.
8:59 am
check our website democracy now! has an immediate opening for our paid, full-time digital fellowship here in our new york city studio. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
9:00 am
>> before modern media,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on